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White clover (Trifolium repens)


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Common names 

White clover, Dutch clover, ladino clover, white Dutch clover [English]; trèfle blanc, trèfle rampant, trèfle de Hollande [French]; trébol blanco [Spanish]; trevo-branco [Portuguese]; Hvid-Kløver [Danish]; witte klaver [Dutch]; Weiß-Klee, Kriech-Klee [German]; trifoglio bianco, trifoglio rampicante, trifoglio ladino [Italian]; cỏ ba lá trắng [Vietnamese]; النفل الأبيض [Arabic]; 白三葉草 [Chinese]; Λευκό τριφύλλι [Greek]; シロツメクサ [Japanese]; شبدر سفید [Persian]; Клевер бе́лый [Russian]


Amoria repens (L.) C. Presl, Trifolium biasolettii Steud. & Hochst., Trifolium macrorrhizum Boiss., Trifolium occidentale Coombe, Trifolium repens var. atropurpureum hort., Trifolium repens var. rubescens hort.

Feed categories 

White clover (Trifolium repens L.) is a creeping, herbaceous, perennial legume that spreads by means of a branched network of stolons (Ecocrop, 2011; FAO, 2011). In warmer areas, it may behave as a summer growing annual. White clover develops a taproot that dies after the first year and is replaced by a secondary, mostly shallow root-system that develops from the stolons (UC SAREP, 2006). The stolons are creeping, 10-40 cm long, and can produce roots, leafy branches or inflorescence stalks. White clover leaves are petiolated and trifoliate but they can vary widely in form and size, depending on cultivar or type (FAO, 2011). Leaflets are ovate, broad, solid dull green or occasionally marked with a white "V" and sometimes with dark red flecks (UC SAREP, 2006). White clover bears globular racemes at the end of long peduncles that arise from the stolons leaf axils. The inflorescence has 20-40 white fragrant flowers. Once pollinated, the flowers develop into linear sessile pods containing 3-4 heart-shaped, smooth, bright yellow to yellowish brown seeds. Seed maturity occurs 3-4 weeks after pollination (FAO, 2011).

There are many white clover cultivars but only a restricted portion of the germplasm is used. Traditionnally, white clovers are classified by leaflet size as small, medium and large. Ladino clover, which is popular in North America, is a large-leaf white clover. However this classification has become less relevant with modern cultivars, which have more important distinguishing characteristics from an agronomic perspective. A blend of cultivars of different leaf sizes is often sown in mixtures, so that the clover component tolerates both grazing and cutting management (FAO, 2011).

White clover is a widely used forage legume, grown alone or in mixed stands with grasses, in rainfed or irrigated stands. White clover is a valuable fodder that is readily eaten and has a high nutritive value: it is better in quality than tropical legumes (FAO, 2011; Jones et al., 1992). White clover can be used as pasture, hay and silage for many classes of livestock (FAO, 2011; UC SAREP, 2006). It provides several environmental services such as N fixation and protection against soil erosion. Because of these characteristics, white clover is of particular interest in organic farming systems (FAO, 2011).


White clover probably originated from the eastern Mediterranean region of Asia Minor and is indigenous to the whole of Europe, Central Asia west of Lake Baikal, and to small areas in Morocco and Tunisia (FAO, 2011; Jones et al., 1992). It is naturalized in many countries, particularly in North America, China, Australia and southern latin America (Jones et al., 1992). Of utmost importance in mild temperate and Mediterranean climates, white clover can also grow under quite high temperatures. It is naturalized in the higher rainfall subtropics and in elevated tropical areas such as the highlands of Papua New Guinea or at an altitude above 1800 m in Kenya (Ecocrop, 2011; Jones et al., 1992; Ostrowski, 1972).

White clover can be found in a wide range of habitats, including dry meadows, mudflats, wood margins, open woods, river banks, plains, semi-desert regions, and mountains up to the subalpine meadows, but rarely on saline soils. It is a frequent weed on roadsides and in barren areas (UC SAREP, 2006). Because of its stoloniferous growth habit white clover is able to colonise bare spaces in swards (FAO, 2011).

White clover is found at mean annual temperatures between 4.3°C and 21.8°C (UC SAREP, 2006). Its optimal temperature for growth is 20-25°C (FAO, 2011), but it is as winter hardy as alfalfa and it can withstand frost. White clover can grow on a wide range of soils but does better on clay or loam soils than on sandy soils. It is not suited to dry, swampy, acid, high-alkaline or highly-saline sites. However, some cultivars are salt tolerant and perform better on saline soils than on normal ones. It responds positively to P and K fertilizer and may also require liming in order to ensure satisfactory soil pH (above 5.5). White clover grows best under cool, moist conditions and responds positively to irrigation, especially for seed production (FAO, 2011; UC SAREP, 2006). White clover has moderate drought tolerance, which can be improved when it is sown with a companion grass that provides shade and decreases temperature at ground level. White clover has a poor tolerance to flooding. It has some tolerance of shade but then reduces stolon formation (FAO, 2011).


Hay and silage

When hay is desired, it is important to avoid nutrient losses through leaf losses during the drying process. When silage is desired, pre-wilting is recommended in order to enhance DM and water soluble carbohydrate concentrations; chopping and additives are also aids for better silage quality (FAO, 2011).

Forage management 

One of the reasons for the success of white clover as a forage is its flexibility for forage management. Notably, its ability to develop leaves from the stolons allows it to retain its high nutritive value as it matures (FAO, 2011).


In temperate regions (UK), white clover sown in pure stands yielded 12 t DM/ha under irrigation and 9 t DM/ha without. Silage yields were 6-8 t DM/ha. In mixed stands, where white clover is sown with a grass, its contribution to the total yield is variable and often unpredictable because of the dynamic interaction of the components. In New Zealand, in stands where white clover was 20-30% of the stand, it was possible to obtain 8 to 13 t DM/ha in rainfed conditions, and up to 22.6 t DM/ha in favourable moist lowland conditions (FAO, 2011).

Establishment and mixed pasture

White clover establishes slowly but has vigorous growth once well established. It can be sown in pure stands but it has poor resistance to weed infestations, poor persistence and highly variable seasonal yields (Frame, 1993). It is thus generally found in mixture with temperate or tropical grasses, such as brome grass, cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), tall fescue, timothy (Phleum pratense), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), dallis grass (Paspalum dilatatum), bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), Paspalum spp. or kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) (FAO, 2011; Ostrowski, 1972).

The inclusion of white clover in mixed pasture (grass and legume) increases the feeding value of the pasture due to the high protein and OM digestibility of white clover (Giovanni, 1988). This effect is particularly interesting in organic farming because it allows reducing and limiting nitrogen fertilization. Mixed swards containing grass and white clover are very suitable for conservation, either continuously or integrated with grazing. Mixed swards are also valuable as deferred feed for late autumn (FAO, 2011).


White clover can withstand both continuous stocking and rotational grazing. In rotational grazing systems, stolons can regrow during rest periods, thereby increasing the white clover contribution to the stand. White clover cultivars should be chosen in accordance with the intended type of grazing: small leaf cultivars are best suited for continuous grazing by sheep, while large leaf types are best adapted to rotational grazing by sheep. In mixed swards, grazing should be heavy enough to prevent white clover being shaded and thus its decline (FAO, 2011). White clover performs best under regimes of heavy grazing or mowing (UC SAREP, 2006).

Environmental impact 

N-fixing legume

White clover is a potent N-fixing legume provided it finds (or is inoculated with) the suitable strain of rhizobium. It yielded 100-400 kg N/ha/year in New Zealand and 74-240 kg N/ha in the UK (FAO, 2011).

Cover crop and soil improver

White clover provides good protection against soil erosion as its stolons develop at ground level. White clover also enhances water infiltration in the soil (UC SAREP, 2006).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

White clover is a nutritious forage, rich in protein, minerals (especially Ca, P and Mg) and soluble carbohydrates. Compared to other temperate forages, it has relatively low levels of fibre and lignin (FAO, 2011; Ulyatt et al., 1977; Thomson, 1984; INRA, 2007). White clover contains from 17 to 33% protein (DM) (about 23% on average). Crude protein decreases with maturity, from 25% to 20% DM between the vegetative and the bloom stage for a French white clover. Later cuts may contain more protein than the first and second cuts (INRA, 2007). NDF, ADF and ADL averages and ranges (DM basis) are 36% (24-53%), 24% (16-32%) and 6% (2-12%), respectively (Berardo, 1997; Ayres et al., 1998; Cohen, 2001; Sudesh Radotra et al., 2009). Mineral content is about 10-15% DM.

Potential constraints 


White clover can cause bloat in ruminants when they graze clover-rich swards or pure clover. It can be prevented by gradually introducing livestock to the pasture, and by supplementing them with hay or straw. In extreme situations, anti-foaming agents can be administered directly into the rumen (Lane et al., 2000; Jouglar et al., 1983).


White clover may contain low levels of phytoestrogens (0.02-0.06% of DM) compared to red clover (Trifolium pratense) (1-2.5%) (Saloniemi et al., 1995). Coumestrol is sometimes the main active agent (Carlsen et al., 2008). However, the phytoestrogen level is too low to have adverse effects on reproduction.

Hydrogen cyanide poisoning

White clover is polymorphic for cyanogenesis; cyanogenic and acyanogenic plants can exist in the same population, and the cyanide concentration can change during the growing season (OGTR, 2008; Stochmal et al., 1997). Some varieties rich in HCN are not recommended, especially for lactating animals (Lehmann et al., 1991).

Other secondary metabolites

Several other secondary compounds are present in white clover: saponins, condensed tannins, isoflavones and isoflavanones all have various effects on ruminants. However, these effects are generally limited because of the low level of secondary metabolites and because white clover is mostly used as a component of pasture with other forages. The effects of these compounds are well described in Carlsen et al., 2008.


White clover is a excellent forage for ruminants and is used for grazing, cutting-and-carrying, ensiling and making hay. It is recommended to offer between 20 and 50% white clover in a grass-based diet (cut and carry or grazing), or with a small amount of concentrate in the case of straw-based diet. When pure white clover is to be used (fresh or as silage), a readily fermentable carbohydrate source (for example cereal grain or maize silage) will improve diet utilization.


White clover is highly palatable whether as silage, hay or when grazed at a leafy stage. Physical, chemical and anatomical features contribute to a superior intake of white clover compared with grass (FAO, 2011).

Digestibility and degradability

White clover retains a high digestibility since there is continual generation of new leaves from the stolons, which partially compensates for maturity. In contrast to other forage legumes and grasses, low-digestible stem tissue is not harvested in white clover crops and so digestibility declines less with age than in other species (FAO, 2011). OM and DM digestibility values are generally high, around 80% (Schils et al., 1999; Marshall et al., 2003), but may vary (61 to 82%) according to the stage of phenological maturity (Ayres et al., 1998), or cut number (INRA, 2007). Most of the OM and protein are readily degradable in the rumen (Cohen, 2001). But because of its high protein value, it is recommended to feed white clover forage with a highly digestible OM forage having protein of a lower degradability, such as maize silage.

Pasture or fresh cut-and-carry forage

Dairy cows

Many trials have reported the benefits for dairy cows of using white clover in association with grass (mixed pastures or cut-and-carry) or maize silage. It has been suggested that the optimum clover content in pasture may be between 30 and 50% (Caradus et al., 1996; Harris et al., 1997a). Dairy cows grazing pure white clover pasture plus 3 kg DM grass silage had higher milk yield (+ 1.6 to 1.8 L/d/cow) than cows on pure perennial ryegrass without a significant change in milk composition (Caradus et al., 1996). When dairy cows graze a pure tropical pasture or with an increasing proportion of white clover (25 to 75%), milk yields are between 22 and 33% higher with 25% and 50% clover, respectively, than without. Fat content also increases with clover. Including 50% clover in such a pasture is a realistic target to increase milk yield (Harris et al., 1997a; Harris et al., 1997b). Results obtained in Australia show that cows prefer mixed clover/grass pasture than pure clover pasture, allowing them to produce more milk (Rogers et al., 1980 cited by Caradus et al., 1996). When a fresh mixture of perennial ryegrass and white clover (20, 50 or 80%) is fed ad libitum to lactating dairy cows, DM intake and milk yield are significantly higher with 50% clover, but not 80%: 12 kg DM vs. 10.9 kg (DM intake) and 9.8 vs. 8.5 litres (milk yield), respectively. Increasing the clover proportion does not modify milk fat or protein content (Harris et al., 1997a; Harris et al., 1997b). When maize silage partly (50%) replaces fresh white clover, excess N from pure white clover is much better used at the rumen level, reducing ammonia and N urinary excretion without reducing milk yield (Wanjaiya et al., 1993).


When white clover is associated with cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) and grazed by growing lambs, it allows a better daily weight gain: 189 vs. 133 g/d measured over 3 years (Papadopoulos et al., 2001). Even a small clover content associated with tall fescue or ryegrass has a large positive effect on live-weight gain of young grazing sheep (Hyslop et al., 2000).

However, meat from animals consuming legume diets has been attributed as having a more intense and less desirable meat flavour than that of animals fed grass diets (Cramer et al., 1967; Shorland et al., 1970 cited by Schreurs et al., 2007). This "pastoral flavour" is due to indole and skatole formed in the rumen from the microbial deamination and decarboxylation of tryptophan (Deslandes et al., 2001).

White clover can partly replace concentrate in a straw-based diet for 20 kg female sheep. When white clover replaced 25 or 50% concentrate, total DMI (expressed as kg W0.75) increased, but not when it replaced 100% concentrate. Dry matter digestibility of the total diet also increased when white clover replaced 25 or 50% of the concentrate and slightly decreased at 100%. Daily weight gain was also higher when the clover replaced 25 or 50% of the concentrate. Consequently white clover beneficially replaced up to 50% of the concentrate in a straw-based diet (Sudesh Radotra et al., 2009).


Dairy cows

Pure white clover silage can support 19.6 to 31.5 kg/d of milk without supplementation (Dewhurst et al., 2003; Cohen et al., 2006; Steinshamn et al., 2008). However, when supplemented with a cereal grain (Cohen et al., 2006) or mixed concentrate (Steinshamn et al., 2008), milk yield increased significantly by about 0.6 kg/d of milk per kg concentrate offered. No significant change in fat or protein content was observed (Dewhurst et al., 2003; Cohen et al., 2006) but, when compared to grass silage, white clover (and red clover) silage increased the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (Dewhurst et al., 2003).

Beef cattle

Beef steers (362 kg) fed rye grass silage or white clover silage alone, or mixed with rye grass, showed a higher DM intake (8.4 kg vs. 4.2 kg DM) with clover silage (alone or mixed) compared to pure rye silage. Also, white clover silage increased the flow of linoleic and linolenic acids at the duodenum level, possibly due to reduced biohydrogenation (Lee et al., 2003).


The traditional practice of raising pigs outdoors on forage and pasture has been coming back in numerous countries as an alternative approach to pig farming. For instance, EU standards of organic pig production require that breeding animals have access to pasture (Blair, 2007). In addition to environmental and societal benefits, its main advantage is a reduction in feed costs, particularly for gestating sows. White clover, like red clover and alfalfa, is one of the best pasture for all classes of pigs and is able to support 50-62 pigs of 45 kg per ha 6 months after sowing. Grass-clover mixtures are also valuable (Duval, 1993). Early research provides several reports of pigs grazing white clover supplemented with grains and by-products with good results (Barnhart, 1952). Ladino clover has been described as superior to alfalfa for weight gain (Vestal et al., 1948). 70-day-old pigs fed ladino clover + low levels of concentrates for 17 weeks, followed by potatoes + concentrates for the remaining 7 weeks before slaughter grew as well as those fed the potato rations for the entire period. Ladino clover ensiled with 10% wheat bran was highly palatable to pigs (Yoshimoto, 1974).

More recent research has focused on the use of pastures for outdoor pig production systems. Pregnant gilts grazing pasture preferred white clover and alfalfa to tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides). Gilts confined on grass forages were observed reaching across and consuming adjacent legume forages. They were particularly fond of rooting white clover, which shows the palatability of this species, but also its unsuitability as a ground cover since it is rapidly damaged by grazing pigs (Rachuonyo et al., 2005). Rotational grazing was found to be preferable to continous or alternate grazing for growing-finishing pigs on white clover pasture (Leite et al., 2006b).

However, even though white clover is a good forage with potential as an energy and protein source in modern pig meat production, its inclusion in the diet will reduce the digestibility of energy and the dietary metabolizable energy, the forage fibre content being a limiting factor (Lindberg et al., 1998). Pigs reared on a white clover pasture (with ad libitum access to a regular diet) had less backfat and weight gain than pigs reared in a confined system (Leite et al., 2006a).


When growing chickens on pasture was a common practice, white clover was thought to be one of the best forages for poultry. Ladino clover, notably, was famed in the United States for its high protein content and palatability throughout the season, that allowed poultry farmers to reduce the protein content of the supplements down to 12%, thus reducing feed costs (Kennard et al., 1949). Contemporary research about the use of legume forages in poultry focuses on free-range and organic farming systems, with less emphasis on growth and more interest in ground cover abilities, and egg and meat quality.

Ground cover

White clover is not suitable as a ground cover for free-range chickens as it degrades rapidly due to grazing. A high stocking rate (4 chickens/m² for 3 times 5 hours on consecutive days) results in 90% biomass removal, vs. 17% for a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) pasture (Breitsameter et al., 2010). The microhistological analysis of faeces of laying hens grazing multi-species pasture showed a clear preference of the birds for white clover when they were fed a complete diet fulfilling their nutritional requirements: the hens may have eaten the plants they found most attractive (Horsted et al., 2007).

Laying hens

Hens grazing alfalfa, red and white clover or cool season grasses (supplemented with a commercial diet) had a lower performance (body weight and egg production) than caged hens fed only the commercial diet. However, eggs from pastured hens had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, 2.5-fold more total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids. Grazing clover resulted in less vitamin E in the eggs than grazing grass (Karsten et al., 2010).


Broilers fed a commercial diet with access to a pasture of white clover or subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) reached a significantly greater final body weight than broilers fed only the commercial diet. The improvement in broiler performance resulted from an increased intake of the cereal-based feed although forage intake was low. Pasture intake (less than 5% DM) had a low impact on the fatty acid and vitamin E profiles of meat, though breast meat presented lower levels of the n-6 and n-3 fatty acid precursors linoleic acid (18:2n-6) and α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3), respectively (Ponte et al., 2008a; Ponte et al., 2008b). Sensorial analysis showed that meat from pasture-fed broilers had higher sensorial properties (Ponte et al., 2005).


Geese are grazing birds that can utilize grass quite effectively. Their digestive system requires 4-10% fibre in the diet (Gyüre et al., 2003). They prefer clover, cocksfoot, timothy and brome to alfalfa and narrow-leaved tough grasses (Blair, 2008). In Bulgaria, TMEn values of dried, ground white clover measured in geese were relatively high, notably for large-leafed white clover varieties (9.9-10.3 MJ/kg DM vs. 9.0-9.3 for other white clover varieties and red clover). The small-leaf white clover yielded more protein and digestible amino-acids than large-leaf varieties, and all white clover varieties were superior in that respect to red clover (Mihovski et al., 2003). It was concluded that dried white clover was a suitable replacement for alfalfa in geese diets (Penkov et al., 2003).

Common quails

Captive common quails (Coturnix coturnix coturnix) showed some preference for white clover in grassy habitats (Guyomarc'h et al., 1989).


Like alfalfa and other clover species, white clover is an interesting source of protein and fibre for feeding rabbits. It is well appreciated by wild and domestic rabbits (Harris et al., 1983; Crawley, 1990). In the wild, white clover is so appreciated by grazing rabbits that they reduce significantly the proportion of this legume in areas where white clover was initially present, as was observed for example in Australia (Lane et al., 1997) and New Zealand (Norbury, 1996).

White clover distributed fresh or as hay is a very common basis for feeding Angora or meat rabbits in India and Nepal (Bhatt et al., 2005; Prasad et al., 1996; Neupane et al., 2010). It was also the basis for diets of laboratory rabbits in Japan (Tsutsmi et al., 1967).

When given as the sole feed to rabbits, white clover only supports a moderate growth. Combining white clover with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) resulted in a significant improvement of growth rate and feed efficiency (Guo et al., 2008). A further increase in growth rate can be obtained when barley or chickpeas are offered to rabbits in addition to a grass-clover mixture (Sastry et al., 1982; Joyce et al., 1971). In Grey Giant rabbits, a forage-only diet combining white clover, tall fescue and perennial ryegrass (about 33% each on DM basis) resulted in a growth rate of 16.4 g/d, just a little lower than the 22.5 g/d growth rate obtained with a complete balanced control diet (Bedekar et al., 1984).

In complete balanced feeds, the inclusion level of white clover may be increased up to 25-30% without problems (Bhatt et al., 2003). The digestibility of white clover is very high and only slightly affected by drying as demonstrated by Miller et al., 1954 in the following table.

Digestibility coefficients of fresh and dried white clover in rabbits (Miller et al., 1954):

Treatment Dry matter Protein Ether extract Crude fibre Nitrogen-free extract
Green 81.3 86.8 54.4 65.2 88.8
Dried 78.5 83.6 54.7 64.4 85.7

Undesirable compounds

As with most legume forages, white clover contains saponins. These molecules do not seem to have any negative effect in rabbits and 86-90% are destroyed by the digestive flora (Myoga et al., 1978). It should be noted that rabbits appreciate alfalfa even though it has a relatively high content of saponins (Lebas, 1987), and thus there is no obvious reason that clover saponins should act differently in rabbits.

Early papers mentioned the presence of estrogenic compounds in white clover that could severely impair reproduction in rabbit does (Samuel, 1967). However, the link between rabbit doe infertility due to white clover and these compounds was not established (Wright, 1960). In reality, the important development of wild rabbit populations grazing white clover meadows and the complete absence of publications on this particular issue in the recent literature suggest it is at most a negligible risk. Nevertheless, if white clover is used for the first time in feeding does the possibility of detrimental effects of phytoestrogens should be kept in mind.


Crayfish (Cherax destructor)

In juvenile freshwater crayfish Cherax destructor (yabby) cultured in earthen-based ponds and tanks, and fed pellets and/or white clover, clover-fed yabbies had less growth than pellet-fed ones, though their growth level was good. However, feed utilization indices were poor, and clover DM and protein were not efficiently used. The conclusion was that while forage crops have considerable potential for the semi-intensive pond culture of Cherax destructor, ideal forage input levels and optimised methods for supplying forage remain to be determined (Jones et al., 2002).

Nutritional tables

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 16.8 6.8 9.8 30.5 19  
Crude protein % DM 24.9 2.7 19.5 29.6 51  
Crude fibre % DM 19.6 4.1 15.0 27.8 13  
NDF % DM 27.5 5.1 18.5 37.0 37  
ADF % DM 22.1 5.5 15.5 32.0 24  
Lignin % DM 3.9 1.5 2.1 7.1 23  
Ether extract % DM 2.7 1.3 1.4 4.4 6  
Ash % DM 11.3 1.1 9.5 13.8 29  
Total sugars % DM 3.2   2.9 3.5 2  
Water-soluble carbohydrates % DM 9.2 2.7 4.1 13.3 13  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.3 0.8 17.5 19.3 4 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 10.1 4.4 5.1 12.9 3  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.3 0.2 3.1 3.5 3  
Copper mg/kg DM 12       1  
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Arginine % protein 3.4       1  
Glycine % protein 2.9       1  
Lysine % protein 4.3       1  
Phenylalanine % protein 2.0       1  
Threonine % protein 3.0       1  
Tyrosine % protein 1.9       1  
Valine % protein 6.3       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 80.9 2.8 76.1 84.2 10 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 77.3         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 14.2         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.1         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 82.2 2.0 79.1 84.7 8  
a (N) % 28.3 5.3 18.0 35.0 13  
b (N) % 65.0 4.6 57.0 75.0 13  
c (N) h-1 0.094 0.019 0.065 0.130 13  
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 74 6 63 80 13 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 68 7 57 75 13 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Beever et al., 1986; Bilbao et al., 2007; CIRAD, 2008; Cohen, 2001; Dewhurst et al., 2003; Djouvinov et al., 1998; Fulkerson et al., 2007; Giovanni, 1988; Giovanni, 1990; Lim Han Kuo, 1967; Marley et al., 2005; Moharrery et al., 2009; Schneider, 1957; Singh et al., 1992; Ulyatt et al., 1974; Ulyatt et al., 1974; Ulyatt et al., 1979; Van Dorland et al., 2007; Van Dorland et al., 2008; Vargas et al., 1965

Last updated on 10/09/2013 17:24:52

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 82.7 77.5 87.8 2
Crude protein % DM 22.7 2.5 20.0 25.0 3
Crude fibre % DM 23.4 21.4 25.4 2
NDF % DM 29.4 1
ADF % DM 28.8 1
Lignin % DM 3.5 1
Ash % DM 12.3 0.9 11.3 13.1 3
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.4 1
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 65.1 65.1 79.6 2 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 61.6 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.7 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.4 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 69.3 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Aitchison et al., 1986; Alibes et al., 1990; Giovanni, 1988

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:45:22

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 33.5 7.4 24.3 41.1 4  
Crude protein % DM 21.5 1.7 19.6 23.8 4  
Crude fibre % DM 25.3         *
NDF % DM 33.6 5.8 29.4 41.9 4  
ADF % DM 29.6 3.3 25.3 33.2 4  
Ash % DM 10.5 2.3 8.8 13.1 3  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.6         *
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 70.4         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 66.5         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.4         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 9.8         *
a (N) % 68.7       1  
b (N) % 24.8       1  
c (N) h-1 0.063       1  
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 84         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 81         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Dewhurst et al., 2003; Van Dorland et al., 2007; Van Dorland et al., 2008

Last updated on 10/09/2013 17:31:28

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Hassoun P., Lebas F., 2015. White clover (Trifolium repens). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. http://www.feedipedia.org/node/245 Last updated on October 15, 2015, 10:11

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)